Switch Lite Is Not For You, And That’s Okay – Reasonable Assessmentby Noah Copeland September 5, 2019
Nintendo is releasing the Switch Lite later this month. It’s cheaper, smaller, and in typical Nintendo fashion, divisive.
But does it really need to be? What if the Switch Lite is just not for you, and that’s okay?
Look, I get it. The joy-cons can’t be removed. There’s no IR sensor stuff. It’s portable only, which means you can’t “switch” to docked mode which defeats the purpose of the console and its name, right?
The thing is, Nintendo didn’t want you to buy a second Switch. They wanted someone who hasn’t bought one to buy their first. Consider these words straight from the horse’s mouth:
“Our ultimate ambition is for a Nintendo Switch to be owned not just by every family, but by every single person,” said Shigeru Miyamoto at an investors Q&A. It’s this quote that gives us insight on what made the Switch Lite what it is. It exists to get new people on board with a cheaper price point. They are looking at more casual players, the mobile phone crowd that only game on-the-go.
The Nintendo DS is the 2nd best selling gaming device of all time worldwide. I don’t recall those 150 million people complaining that the DS is ‘portable-only.’ The question Ninty is asking is “Why haven’t those 150 million people jumped on board the Switch, yet?” Switch Lite is their answer.
In fact, many of the best selling consoles/devices throughout video game history are handhelds, most of which are Nintendo products. Is Nintendo expected to just leave that money sitting on the table and not pursue that audience?
Nintendo isn’t satisfied with having a “household” Switch that just sits in the living room, like a traditional console. They want it to be like a GameBoy or a smartphone – something more personal to each individual. The Switch is unique in that it blurs the line between “handheld” and “console“; we can’t fit it neatly in our traditional boxes. The Switch Lite variant is intentionally tipping toward the “handheld” box, and that’s okay. It’s not meant for your “console” box, so don’t try to ram it in there.
If you’re reading this from your custom built gaming PC, then of course Switch Lite is a joke to you. It wasn’t meant for you. Never was for you. And that’s okay.
After all, you still have your vanilla Switch.
Reasonable Assessment is commentary series written by Noah Copeland, a somewhat interesting human. Noah makes music, games, and films, and stands at exactly average height. You can follow him on Twitter @NoahCopeland